Friday, October 29, 2010

Music to my ears

When I arrived home from work last night this is what I heard from the driveway:

I didn't even mind that the door was locked and I had to load in groceries myself. Simply amazing progress.

This is where he was an hour before:
Working on the far beam now since that is the ladder available.
The ladder on loan is loaned out to the loaner. Sad but true. If that doesn't make sense, don't worry. It is an embarrassing situation that needs to be documented.

I have to believe that we are farther than 50% on the beams now and all the work on the far wall was done in 2-3 hours this week.
Remember--I don't get to live upstairs til the sanding is done so this is very exciting for me. Even though recently someone told me the basement is "homey" I beg to differ. As much as a basement CAN be "homey" that is true, since we live in it. But isn't "homey" how you describe something small and stuffy in a nice way? Much like "quaint" and "rustic".

Oh and I don't always talk like a parrot(Peek a boo! in the video) Old habits die hard. Long live Zen the Orange Winged Amazon!

Back story on the beam for anyone reading that hasn't heard us complain about it:
When we bought the house, the beams,  the beautiful solid old growth  (pine?) wood beams were....
PAINTED white!!!
A terrible terrible shame that Travis was intent on setting right from the minute we saw them.
As you can see in the pics below compared to above, he has spent 52 hours standing on a ladder stripping, scrapping and sanding. Only 12 more or so to go! It probably took whomever painted them less than an hour to create this great character building event for Travis.

Travis does not approve this beam

Monday, October 25, 2010

36 days to go!

    With the changing of the seasons it seems our motivation has started to change as well. The plan of moving upstairs by December 1 is looming over us (literally) but cuddling up in the cold rainy windy weather is more comforting.
At least the garden, which has been a major distraction is ending. Or at least it is dark outside (at 730am as I write this!) so I cannot see the garden. The weather has turned to crap so Travis cannot continue working on the patio and now we will soon be forced to focus solely on finishing our projects and moving on up.
But first--whilst we ponder what it is like to cuddle in front of the fireplace let us see what we have been up to.

Seeds! I saved my first seeds! I have never really thought about what seeds of different plants look like. I was sorta shocked when I opened my first package of sunflower seeds, and it was truly sunflower seeds in there! Oh my! I have only ever eaten these before. Toasted with salt of course, I doubt those would grow.
So here is my bell pepper that I remembered to save. Our 2nd biggest, because I was completely consumed with making dinner with the first and hadn't a single thought of gardening in my mind at the time.

And here are my cilantro seeds. These I actually cut down all my aging cilantro and have been with out fresh cilantro for months now. These were in a bag in the garage drying out. I have replanted, but not from my own. Maybe Ill try these indoors this winter.

Now this is a curious sight. Saturday we were hanging out in the garage and noticing the unfinished mess of the previous owners. I often ask why around this house. Why did I find during our original viewing of the house but a frying pan ON A PILLOW in the garage? This one is right up there with that. In the crook of this beam you will find... Carmel? Asked Travis. That's impossible I said. It has got to be sap.. on the wood beam right?

Nope. It was gum. Bubble yum? Extra? Who knows... it smelled like wood. Travis sniffed it, but I didn't confirm. Gum! 6ft high in the garage. One would hope a child climbed up and put this here, but I have my doubts.

And with the fall forcing its way in to my life as much as I'd like an endless summer with large harvests and sunflowers as far as the eye can see.. this isn't Kansas. And I lost another sunflower in the storm.
 But I saved it! And now I have true fall decor gracing my window sill. Funny I hadn't thought once about cutting down my ginormous sunflowers for a vase previously.
Change is in the air! And this below HAD TO CHANGE.  I really wish we had done so before every person I ever liked has been over to view it... in the main bathroom. And now I feel OK showing the world because it is in the trash!
 And this one was pretty high up on the list. It reminds me of the TERMINATOR.
The rest of the sockets that were almond colored and filthy also got changed, not because I'm a white socket snob, but these came in a 10 pack for a way better price than buying just 2. And we are all about saving money!

This one below has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It is the plant that does NOTHING.
It started small, and grew and grew... and here it is. Still doing nothing. I was told it was a Cosmo of some sort but no flowers. A tiny bud or 2 I have seen, and they haven't done anything either. It is taking up a large space in the garden, and without it I will see the peas that are about I leave it.

So that is what we have done here on Weekend 31. Seed saving, fall lamenting, 10 outlets and 10 switches. There WAS a great party with lots of girls and a pee wee little league game in the rain, a couple fall walks and some relaxing though. No more progress on the window sills(the bane of my existence), kitchen(what will be the bane of my existence come December) or the beam(the bane of Travis's existence)
Time to get a move on!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gloves off

Where do YOU keep your garden gloves?

I keep mine 2 steps from the door, much to Travis's dismay.
He would like them out of sight, but for me it's always out of sight, out of mind.
Please note that there are 3 pairs of gloves in this picture: REALLY dirty garden gloves from last week that needed to dry, gloves that Travis uses for laying stones, and the current pair I've been using. The important part of that is that Travis has admitted defeat and now leaves his gloves in the appropriate spot.

If I put them "away" I would have to think twice about throwing them on for a 2 second task. It would result in dirt under my nails and washing my hands yet again and THAT would lead to a higher water bill.
(I'll use that the next time he sneers at my dirty gloves gracing the porch "But honey--I'm saving money!)
Or putting off the task until I have a larger task to merit going to find the gloves, possibly even unlocking the shed, which would include getting my keys from inside... All to pull some weeds or transplant something. Which would lead to putting it off til the weekend! Where I would shake my head that I had put it off at all because here it just took me 10 minutes and now I have all this time to do other things(which isn't a terrible thing).

I like to keep them with a little shovel and the pruning sheers. Maybe they could all go in a cute useful little bucket by the backdoor. Now I get to shop for a cute pail!

So I ask the gardeners: Are yours in the shed hiding away or are they always in plain sight? Reading some of these lovely gardening blogs recently--I wouldn't be surprised if some of them don't even use gloves. Or maybe the gloves have formed to their hands?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend #30

I thought we got alot more accomplished this weekend but this is what it comes down to:Tear out row of curcubits
eat harvest
rearrange garage to fit patio set
admire empty expansive patio
admire empty arranged garage
feed treats to neighbor dog
Install new faucet in master bath(not featured)
paint 4 window sills(not featured)
sand beam for an hour (not featured)
return ladder to owner (not featured)
Fertilize lawn(not featured)

take alot of pictures of sunflowers
watch birds eat sunflower seeds
(video is shaky because I haven't had my coffee yet--and I'm an amateur)

And now in pictures!

The one and only Pablano

Last harvest was pretty small

It started turning red just before it rotted off the stem. Still tasty!

Harvest cooked with the last cherry tomatoes

No before pics of the garage--it was all piled in the center from move in day.

This is Pooper, the neighbors dog who likes our yard for some reason...
 She leaves us treats, we give her treats...

After 4 years this unknown rescued Clematis blooms! Outside the fence! The ingrate.

Little star creeper creeping nicely!

Nothing but admiration here. See Cinder blocks for old pics

Too cool for school Sunflower

Love the pointy leaves here

Never noticed Nasturtiums look menacing.

Roses are too easy for photos

Favorite sunflower again

Stay tuned for the faucet and microwave from hell in the coming posts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Garden in no particular order

Sunsprite(I think) is doing particularly well since I moved it under the eaves. Seems it doesn't like rain.

Crocosmia looks splendid. I want to plant ALOT more of this next year, in a bunch, in the ground.

Here is an elusive 'crows in the sunset' shot. Click for bigger view.

Garden is looking shabby. Just looking at it adds 10 items to my to do list.

Sad sad harvest coming from this row. 3 itty bitty zukes...
aren't going to stop me from pulling it out this weekend

Cosmos have met there match with the rain. I pulled them out Monday...
makes me a little sad because they were still blooming, just laying down.

I couldn't get a clear picture to save my life. Maybe because my battery was dying?
Cayenne's are turning red from the ends. So cute!

Chester has admitted fall is here. Soon he will be all trunk and branches.

Rainy day shot

More to do. Winter greens need to get planted soon.

Quiz time--I keep dreaming of these-What are they?

And what is this? Azalea?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ho Hum

Ever since September started I've been of the mind to Deny Deny Deny that fall is coming. But rushing home to get 1 hr of sun before sunset is getting to be impossible.  Each day its earlier and earlier.

And now that our pumpkins are actually festive, I guess I have to accept it.

Once I get past this transition, maybe I can admit it and move on.
Of all the weather we had this last weekend/week, I crossed off 2 items on the to do list(and added 6!)
Travis, while sick, kept to his plan-he laid sand and  8 more stones.
It is a terrible picture thru an upstairs window, but it is coming along.

I painted 5 window sills. 5! And I found MORE that I didn't include in the original count!
I put it off til Sunday evening and it only took me 2 hours.  The job didn't even merit any pictures.
In other news...

We started the weekend watching the neighbors ...

garage be demolished...
By a couple amateurs--
This is when half the garage fell in to the neighbors yard..

This is where it ended Sunday night

I guess my weekend wasn't half bad considering I don't need to remove my garage due to rotten beams!

I will have to tell you about the state of the garden tomorrow. IE is fighting with me and it is winning.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Never thought I'd say this....

Well well well, what do we have here??

Refreshing! The tomatoes have met the wrath of April! Unfortunately--the spiders have already relocated to places I don't expect them--garden gates, door knobs, the peas...

Weekly garden pic looks a little bare--but truly, I like it. It seems my life revolved around the tomatoes for the last 6 months! Getting rid of wood chips, digging up the dirt, adding compost, planting (in the rain) then tying, staking, tying, staking, watching, picking finally, and then, then! We have 40 tomatoes in no shape for "non gardeners" to want to eat. Organic tomatoes are NOT always pretty.
Now we have this: 
In other news--Travis is officially old... He loved the yard tools he got for his birthday. Hedge trimmer and air blower(to clean up after himself)
And yard work! Really the hedge was about to eat our guests and we cannot have that.
And these spiders have relocated as well--eeek!

Now if it would RAIN already(now that I don't have to worry about tomatoes molding) we could get to work on the house. This summer sure has been distracting.

Less than 2 months til we move upstairs!!